Grab your flak jacket, put on your helmet and head for the trenches mate … it’s Border Wars!
Ok, the intensity isn’t quite the same as the deadly border clashes happening in the Himalayas between China and India. But, nevertheless, there is a fair old border scrap going on in Australian right now.
Victoria has taken a major swipe at South Australia over its refusal to reopen their mutual border. The entire state of South Australia has subsequently gone ballistic over the insult and is fighting back.
SA opens its borders to some – but not Victoria
On Wednesday 17 June, South Australia confirmed the reopening of its borders, without quarantine, to people from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. Visitors from eastern states, though, must still undergo quarantine before being welcomed with open arms by the South Aussies.
Which prompted hissy fit from the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, on Wednesday morning when he was asked at a media conference about the continued border closure.
“I don’t want to be offensive to South Australians, but why would you want to go there?” was his response.
Old animosities flare in South Australia
Cue mass hysteria in SA, where they’ve never liked the Vics much anyway. It goes back to the days of the old Victorian Football League (VFL), predecessor to the AFL, when the ‘rich’ clubs of the VFL were regarded as ‘stealing’ players from the poorer SA-based league. It didn’t help matters when Melbourne ‘stole’ the F1 Grand Prix from Adelaide some years later.
If South Australia had been an independent country, the air-raid sirens would have been sounding in Adelaide and the tanks of the SA army would have been rolling towards the Victorian border with orders to take no prisoners.
Instead, the South Australians had to be content with firing insults.
SA fights back via mainstream and social media
“Daniel Andrews, scandal-ridden Premier of virus-plagued Victoria sledges South Australia’ screamed the headline in the Adelaide-based Advertiser newspaper.
South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall, tweeted a video of Andrews making his comment and then overlaid it with an SA tourism video showing some of the state’s top visitor attractions.
“Daniel Andrews asked why anyone would want to go to South Australia … Well Dan, here’s why,” Marshall tweeted.
Shortest media statement in the history of politics?
South Australian senator, Andrew McLachlan, wasn’t to be outdone. He issued possibly the shortest media statement since ‘politician’ and ‘hot air’ were first linked together in a sentence in ancient Babylon.
His media statement read: “Response to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews asking why anyone would want to go to South Australia: … To escape you.”
The first battle of the great Border War of 2020 has been won by South Australia. Will the Victorians launch a vicious counter-attack?